Kelly Breland
Mar 19, 2018 | 7 min read

It can be tricky to figure out what matters more – the great SEO or the gorgeous design. At times this dilemma about which one to choose gets really irritating. At a certain point, you can even start wondering why you ever launched a website, in the first place. That is why with this post, we decided to help you to make the right choice between the great SEO and the gorgeous design. To do so, we have gathered thoughts from various professionals who are currently dealing with the web design industry.

What we managed to come up with seems to boil down to two main ideas. The first idea is that to make the right choice between the SEO and the design, you have to build your website with professional web templates. The more reliable cms platform you use for launching an online venture, the higher chances are that your website will get profitable within the shortest terms. For instance, you can start with putting to test unbounce templates from TemplateMonster, which both look professional and can be easily SEO-optimized.
unbounce templates

The second idea is that there is no easy way to choose between the SEO and the design. Web designers, marketing managers, and web developers all agree that there are many things to consider when making the final decision on the matter. So, what you are about to read represents a solid roundup of tips from different IT specialists you can start following immediately!

SEO or Design: Divide and Rule?


Let’s start with the opinions of SEO defenders. The list of reasons to support the unique impact of the SEO-optimization on a website’s performance is quite long. It contains killer arguments like “If your prospective visitors do not see your website in the search results, who cares about how gorgeous the design of your multi-page website is?” Sure thing, once you put it this way, it seems absolutely reasonable. So, you say to yourself “Why not insert a few more keywords into subtitles? Would it hurt to place additional hyperlinks in the first paragraphs of posts? How about providing extra meta descriptions?”

Be it as it may, there are still many advocated for the gorgeous design too. Their main argument concerns the positive user experience, which is said to be the leading factor for increasing the web traffic. Yes, it does seem believable that a person will be more likely to come back to your website if (s)he finds it impressive in terms of the design and the content. And yes, it looks like the positive user experience can be a driving force for sharing the website content on social media and debating it on personal blogs. As supporters of the gorgeous design claim, the increase in the organic traffic is a natural byproduct of the smart layout and informative content.

Truth be told, both approaches seem reasonable to a certain extent. However, when blown out of proportion, both too much SEO or the overly intricate design can be harmful. First, let’s examine a situation when you find a website that (at least, according to the search results) is supposed to be helpful to you. But once you click on that link that the search engine so eagerly provides, you understand that a website is a mess. The interface is clumsy, the menu is poorly structured, and there are no contact details and no relevant call-to-action buttons on this website’s Homepage. Would you feel like revisiting this website ever again? Hardly.

Similarly enough, the gorgeous web design can be a total failure in the long run if it is overestimated. Let’s say, you hire an acknowledged web designer alongside with a skilled photographer to make your website look seamless. And it does look this way eventually – but only on the seventh page in the search results. What are the chances that your conversion rate will grow fast? That is right, a ghost of a chance.

All these examples lead us to the idea that instead of the “divide and rule” principle you can give the “unite and convert” rule a try.

SEO and Design: Unite and Convert


The SEO and the design have to compliment each other in order to improve the performance of your website. To have a deeper understanding of this idea, you need to keep in mind simple facts:

  1. Visitors have to be able to find your website. The moment when a prospective customer of yours submits a search query to a search engine is exactly the time when your website starts functioning. Mainly, it is the SEO that handles this matter. Thus, SEO can be compared to a key to your website.
  2. Visitors should enjoy your website. The only way to make it happen is to provide the relevant content wrapped in the professional design. The user-friendly navigation, the manageable menu, the well-structured posts, and the appealing color palette can work miracles when it comes to the conversion rate. Hence, the gorgeous design can be allegorized to a welcoming house filled with smells of croissants and coffee.

As we all know, a key without a house does not make much sense, just like a house without a key is a sheer nonsense. In other words, there is no better way to manage your website than to combine the SEO optimization with the gorgeous design.


Of course, at times you will need to pay more attention to either of the aspects. Every now and then you will feel the edge to apply heavy interlinking or utilize the keywords more intensively. Sometimes, to increase your conversion rate you will opt for (re)branding your business and (re)designing the website of yours. But the general tendency should remain the same – there is no such thing as the “SEO or Design” puzzle. There are only website owners who fail to see how these two benefit each other when applied properly.

But how to understand what techniques you need to apply at this particular moment? For starters, every time when you encourage feedback you gain an insight into what aspect (SEO or design) you have to work on harder at this stage. One more way to build the solid online presence is to track your website’s performance on a regular basis. Google Analytics is the first online tool to turn to when you need to have quick answers on how well your website performs. For example, this is where you get to know how many new and returning visitors you get. You can also track the number of pages that an average visitor views per session. The bounce rate, the exit rate, and the typical behavior of your online visitors can help you to learn your audience better and make the appropriate adjustments.


Striking a balance between the SEO and the gorgeous design can be a challenge only if you perceive these two concepts as oppositions. That is why it makes sense to start viewing them as two sides of the same coin. Make no mistake – once you learn to cater to the needs of your online audience and track your website’s performance regularly, you will see that the “SEO or Design” dilemma will no longer be an issue!

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